cj#861.2> Chapter 1: Evolution of Western Power

1998-11-07

Richard Moore

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[...continued. Part 2 of 2]


World War II and collective imperialism
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
     "If we see that Germany is winning we should help Russia and if
     Russia is winning we ought to help Germany and that way let them
     kill as many as possible . . ."
     - Harry S. Truman, 1941(4)

Seen from the perspective of Jack's tree, so to speak, the major events of
World War II make up a battle scenario worthy of a Hollywood thriller. What
basically happened is that Germany and Russia clobbered one another, while
Japan got itself embroiled throughout Asia. The US, after first arming
Germany and Japan, then switched its support to Russia and China. While the
rest of the world was becoming engulfed in war, the US made profits in turn
from both sides and engineered remotely the balance of power. Finally, after
the German advance had peaked, and when Japan's expansion had reached
alarming proportions, Jack came down from his tree. The US froze all
Japanese assets, cutting off their oil supply, and making prompt US entry
into the war inevitable.

The US had access to good intelligence regarding Japanese plans and
deployments. The British, with their phenomenal wartime decryption advances,
had broken "unbreakable" Japanese (and German) codes. Whether President
Roosevelt knew the exact day and hour of the planned raid on Pearl Harbor
may be open to question, but he knew the attack was coming, he had
nonetheless asked advance observation posts on Kauai to stand down, and he
knew enough about the timing to make sure the strategically critical
aircraft carriers were safe at sea when the attack occurred. December 7,
1941 was indeed a day of infamy, but who's infamy?

The first phase of US battle strategy was to contain Japan in the Pacific,
while concentrating US forces in Britain and North Africa. Despite the
successful raid in Hawaii, Japan posed no immediate threat to the US
mainland. US bombing raids of German-occupied territories joined those of
Britain, but the US delayed landing troops in Europe until the most
advantageous moment -- when the Soviets had begun their advance toward
Germany. In January, 1944, the Soviets kicked the Germans out of Leningrad
and Allied forces landed in Italy the same month. By Spring, Germany had
been mostly pushed out of Soviet territory, and on D-Day, June 6, Allied
forces landed in France -- the race to Berlin was on.

Even after the Allies began their drive toward Germany, there were four
German divisions on the Eastern front for every one in the West. The German
giant was still facing the Russian giant, while attempting to hold off the
Allies with a rear-guard action. Unlike Jack, Uncle Sam had to do
considerable fighting himself in Europe, or at least American soldiers did,
but as with Jack, the main battles were among others. American timing was
nearly perfect. Only the unexpectedly rapid advance of Soviet forces
prevented US troops from being the first to reach Berlin. Berlin had been
bombed continually, but the most intense raids of the war were carried out
over Berlin after Soviet troops were advancing into Germany, the objective
being, apparently, to slow Soviet progress by flooding the highways with
refugees.

The US then turned its attention toward Japan. Although America suffered
terrible casualties in fierce island warfare in the Pacific, the US
situation was immeasurably improved by the fact that Japanese forces were
spread out on the Asian continent and in Asian waters, entangled with giant
China. All in all, when the war was over, the giant-killer American strategy
had worked out brilliantly.

US casualties were miniscule compared to the tens of millions lost by
Germany, the Soviets, and the Chinese. And while the war devastated every
other major nation, for the US it was one of the most economically
profitable undertakings in world history. From the depths of the Great
Depression in the mid thirties, the US emerged in 1945 with 4x% of the
world's wealth and industrial capacity, and with all of its infrastructures
intact.

In terms of competitive imperialism, the US had pulled off a major coup. The
US had made inroads into the oil-rich Middle East, and was well poised to
push its advantage as an imperial power in the postwar era. The US
controlled the seas, and no other major power was in an economic position to
exploit the many opportunities made available by the general global
disruption. But the US had other plans -- its full strategy was yet to be
played out.

Instead of punishing the vanquished, as the victors had done at Versailles,
the US encouraged the rebuilding of Germany and Japan -- but with
nationalism and militarism taken out of the school curricula and government
policy. And instead of pressing its imperial advantage relative to its
Western rivals, the US launched the Marshall Plan. Billions of dollars of
aid was given -- not loaned -- to Europe to ensure its rapid reconstruction.
The UN was established, providing for the first time a global institution
for dealing with international conflicts and problems. Regional treaty
organizations such as NATO (North Atlantic) and SEATO (Southeast Asia) were
set up to maintain stability, and to provide the US with an excuse to keep
its forces deployed at strategic points around the world.

In 1948, under US leadership, the Bretton Woods agreements were signed.
These agreements fixed exchange rates among major currencies. Since the
value of the dollar was pegged to gold at $32 per ounce, all major
currencies would now be stabilized, and the currency collapses that plagued
the inter-war years could not recur. Part of the Bretton Woods package was
GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade), which proclaimed a general
global policy of open markets. In addition, the World Bank and the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) were established. These institutions
pooled Western investment funds and provided a systematic means of financing
imperialist development projects.

Although the rhetoric of the new world system was about the end of
imperialism, and the triumph of democracy, the reality was otherwise. The US
encouraged the gradual dismantlement of traditional European empires, but
imperialism was to continue on a collective basis, using the high-leverage
American model.

As the US had done for decades in Latin America, the new international
institutions were designed to create the conditions favorable to the
continued exploitation of traditional Western imperial territories. The
business of imperialism had always been about trade and development, on
terms favorable to the West. The mission of the IMF and World bank was
specifically to support trade and development -- and these institutions were
under firm Western control. In 194x President Truman declared(5) that the
West's former imperial territories were now the underdeveloped world, and
the stage was set for a new global system of collective Western imperialism.

Creating the conditions for collective imperialism required more than
Western-controlled financial institutions, however. There was also a need
for selective military interventions, the arranging of coups, and all those
other high-leverage techniques that had supported American-style imperialism
in Latin America. The US solution to this problem was for America to extend
globally its practice of these techniques. The Central Intelligence Agency
was formed, and in 1953 it carried out its first coup.

On May 1, 1951, Prime Minister Mossadegh of Iran had nationalized the
British-owned Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC)(6). Iran was certainly within
its rights -- Britain had recently nationalized several of its own domestic
industries, and the British government was the major owner of the AIOC. But
the nationalization was contrary to Western imperial advantage. The CIA, in
collaboration with British intelligence, put into motion a series of covert
actions, and on August 19, 1953, Mossadegh was forced to yield power to the
Shah.

In the same style as decades of Latin American tin-horn dictators before
him, the Shah became for the next 25 years America's staunchest ally in what
was to be frequently referred to as the third world. Iran, which bordered
the Soviet Union, was made available as an American intelligence outpost. A
new oil contract was signed which ended exclusive British access, and gave a
40% share to an American consortium.

This was how collective imperialism was to work. The US was to provide the
covert and military support, while the economic spoils were to be
distributed on a more or less equitable basis among Western powers. In
William Blum's Killing Hope, US Military and CIA Interventions since World
War II, there are 55 chapters. Each chapter chronicles a comparable episode
of imperial management, though many are on a vaster scale. As of this
writing, the latest episode is taking place in the Serbian province of
Kosovo, where US and German-funded Albanian mercenaries were sent in to
stage a phony civil war, with the apparent objective of separating Serbia
from Kosovo's mineral wealth. If things run true to pattern, one can expect
the faction that comes to power in Kosovo to be very friendly to Western
development interests.


From Cold War to kultur-kampf: evolution of the new world order
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Part of the US role, in making the world safe for collective imperialism,
was the containment of Soviet influence. In 1946, Winston Churchill declared
that an "Iron Curtain" separated the West from the communist bloc. "Mother
Russia", which had been heralded as the West's staunch ally against fascism,
suddenly became the "Red Menace", and the Cold War was on. There began a
decades-long propaganda campaign in Western media which demonized the Soviet
Union, and later Communist China. The Nazi intelligence network which
operated throughout Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union was kept intact, and
was incorporated into the new CIA. Covert destabilization operations against
the communist bloc were an ongoing part of the Cold War.

The threat of additional marxist revolutions, in most cases unfounded, was
frequently used to justify military interventions whose actual purpose was
the management of empire. The communist-threat propaganda was very
effective, and it enabled the US to maintain astronomical military budgets.
The US always remained several steps ahead of the Soviets in strategic
military capability, while the Soviet attempts to catch up were always
characterized as threatening -- and so the arms race cycle continued
throughout the Cold War. The vast global military machine the US built,
allegedly to defend against Soviet expansionism, enabled the US to easily
carry out its role as imperial manager in the third world.

While imperialist development of the third world proceeded, with minimal
interference from the communist bloc, various tactics were employed to
gradually wear down and destabilize the Soviet Union. Anti-communist
propaganda was distributed by leaflet and by airwaves in Eastern Europe, and
uprisings were encouraged in Hungary and other Soviet-controlled countries.
Communist forces were drawn into expensive conflicts in Korea and Vietnam,
where the borders of the "free world" had been in dispute. The CIA stirred
up civil wars in Angola and Afghanistan, and these proved very costly for
the Soviets.

It was the arms race itself which ultimately bankrupted the Soviets. Russia
was always, by American standards, a very poor country. For it to compete on
a head-to-head basis with US military might called for expenditures far
beyond its means. Within the context of the capitalist system, military
expenditures for the US were just one more form of economic growth. But for
the Soviets they were a fatal drain on economic resources.

In 1990, after a sequence of events that seemed to pass in the blink of an
eye, the Soviet Union collapsed. Boris Yeltsin pulled Russia out of the
Union, with Western backing, and became the chosen Western stooge, in the
tradition of the Shah, Noriega, Marcos, et al. Yeltsin shelled his own
parliament building, in a haunting replay of a similar action by Lenin over
70 years before, and assured his own dictatorial reign for most of the
decade. He kow-towed to Western demands on every occasion and imperialist
exploitation of the of the former Soviet domains began.

Funds were made available to Russia by the West, but never enough to hold
things together in the crumbling economy. The conditions of the loans
required Russia to dismantle its existing economic infrastructures, without
any plan in place for a smooth transition to a free-market system. The
result of Western policy, which was easily predictable from the nature of
that policy, was the complete and utter destabilization of Russian society.

Russian and East European assets became available to Western buyers at
rock-bottom prices, and billions of dollars were smuggled out of Russia by
corrupt officials. As of this writing, the downward spiral has still not
stabilized. The people of the former Soviet bloc, who initially welcomed
capitalism as if it were Santa Claus, now yearn for the good old days of
Soviet rule. As the Romans ground Carthage into the dust, so has the West
humbled the former super power.

Hitler must have smiled in his grave as his lebensraum vision was finally
realized. The proper conditions had at last been created, and the subsequent
capitalist invasion of the former Soviet bloc was as devastating as had been
the earlier invasion by Hitler's Panzer divisions. Even if Russia manages
yet to install a representative government, it has almost no chance of ever
becoming again a serious threat to Western power. It has been successfully
reduced to third-world status, and the former Soviet realms offer vast
opportunities for imperialist development and enrichment.

The postwar relationship between the West and China proceeded down a
different path. When the People's Republic first came to power in China, it
was aligned closely with the Soviets, and the Western policy toward the
entire bloc was to isolate and contain it. When China split from the
Soviets, Western policy became more flexible, and the communist rift was
encouraged to widen. In the early seventies the West decided that isolating
China no longer made sense, and in 1971 China was allowed to replace Taiwan
in the UN. In 1972 President Nixon paid a state visit to China and trade
channels were then soon re-opened.

Chinese products began to enter global markets, and China's huge population
created a major market for Western exports. Trade increased and the Chinese
economy grew rapidly. Foreign corporations were allowed to build plants in
China, provided they included Chinese partners. Ideology, communist or
otherwise, seemed to have little relevance to China's relationship with the
West. China was behaving like a competing capitalist power, striving to
establish a strong role for itself in the world economy and in Asia. As
China began to assume the stature of a major power, it became a potential
challenge to Western hegemony and the established system of collective
imperialism.

China has said that its "natural role" is to be dominant in Asia(7), as said
Japan in the years leading up to World War II. The US, meanwhile, has stated
that such hegemony would be "contrary to US strategic interests", and
reminds us that the US has fought three major Asian wars in this century to
maintain its "strategic interests". Today's US policy makers articulate two
competing approaches to China: engagement, and confrontation. The goal of
engagement is to seduce China into subservience to the US-managed global
system, while the goal of confrontation is to accomplish the same result
through the use of economic pressure, and if necessary, military force.

Both China and the US are now embarked on aggressive weapons-development
programs, each aimed at assuring the ability to control the outcome of this
final episode of major national competition. China, already a nuclear power,
is investing heavily in military technology and is hoping to achieve a
breakthrough that will enable it to neutralize the effectiveness of
America's premiere weapons system, the carrier task force. The US,
meanwhile, is rapidly upgrading its hi-tech electronic warfare systems.

In Desert Storm, the US managed to achieve control of theater. With
electronic and stealth technology it was able to neutralize Iraq military
capability, and was then able to strike at will anywhere in Iraq. If the US
can be assured of a similar capability with respect to China, and if the US
permits itself the use of tactical nuclear warheads, then it has the basis
of a strategy for defeating China in the event a confrontation arises. In a
pre-emptive strike it could take out China's strategic missiles. It could
then, with control of theater, savage Chinese military and industrial
installations as it did those of Iraq.

     "The world is in the early stages of a new military revolution...
     the revolution in military affairs revolves around three advances.
     The first is in gathering intelligence. Sensors in satellites,
     aircraft or unmanned aircraft can monitor virtually everything
     going on in an area. The second is in processing intelligence.
     Advanced command, control, communication and computing systems,
     known as C4, make sense of the data gathered by the sensors and
     display it on screen. They can then assign particular targets to
     missiles, tanks or whatever. The third is in acting on all this
     intelligence in particular, by using long-range precision strikes
     to destroy targets. Cruise missiles, guided by satellite, can hit
     an individual building many hundreds of miles away...

     "The Pentagon already has, or is developing, most of the
     technologies required for space weapons. For instance it has just
     awarded a $l.l billion contract for an airborne laser to hit
     ballistic missiles. if that technology works, it could be adapted
     for a satellite..."(8)

As China begins to operate aggressively in global markets, and as its
economic and military power grow, the China Question will not go away. How
this question will be resolved cannot be precisely predicted, but there can
be little doubt about the ultimate outcome. It is inconceivable that the US
would allow China to reverse the direction of the collective Western system
and to return the world to the era of major-power rivalries.

With the Soviet Union dismantled, Western planners are already architecting
and implementing a new regime of world order. The Cold War regime operated
at two levels. At one level, the US was acting to maintain Western advantage
in the imperial system. At another level, the one of public rhetoric, the US
was acting to contain the communist threat. The imperial basis of US policy
will continue, but the end of the Cold War requires a new line of public
rhetoric. Drugs and terrorism have provided an ad-hoc solution to this
problem, but a more systematic solution is in the works.

The new system of world order has been articulated in some detail by a
darling of the US policy establishment, Samuel P. Huntington, in his book
The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order(9). Huntington
divides the world into eight "civilizations", or regions, and provides a
detailed description of the dynamics planned for the new regime.

Within regions there are to be core states, which are to have a special role
in maintaining order within "their" region. As the US "authorizes" Turkish
incursions into Iraq, we can see Turkey beginning to assume a core-state
role. Between regions we are to expect perpetual "fault-line conflicts",
which are to be resolved through the auspices of "non primary level
participants. This is what has been happening in Bosnia, where allegedly
neutral NATO is "resolving" the fault-line conflict between the Muslim and
Christian "civilizations".

     "The Clash of Civilisations, the book by Harvard professor Sam
     Huntington, may not have hit the bestseller lists, but its dire
     warning of a 21st century rivalry between the liberal white folk
     and the Yellow Peril -- sorry, the Confucian cultures -- is
     underpinning the formation of a new political environment.

     "To adapt one of Mao's subtler metaphors, Huntington's
     Kultur-kampf is becoming, with stunning speed, the conceptual sea
     in which Washington's policy-making fish now swim."(10)

Huntington is a member of and spokesman for The Council on Foreign Relations
(CFR). I will have more to say about the CFR in Chapter 2, and its central
role in elite planning. Suffice it to say for now that ideas published by
CFR frequently show up as US Government policy in subsequent
administrations. Policy makers are indeed swimming in the sea articulated by
Huntington, and we can see the evidence "on the ground".

When the US Embassy was recently bombed in Nairobi, the US did not try to
retaliate against the specific terrorist groups involved. Instead it defined
whole nations (Sudan, Afghanistan) as the targets of its reprisals, and
launched cruise-missile attacks against targets in those nations. President
Bill Clinton said "The countries that persistently host terrorism have no
right to be safe havens."(11) Under the kultur-kampf regime, terrorism and
reprisal become acts of war across fault-line rifts.

Huntington's core states are nothing really new, but are simply a renaming
of what have been traditionally called "Western client" states. Managing
"fault line conflicts" becomes the excuse for intervention, in place of
"defending strategic interests," but maintaining collective Western
domination continues to be the underlying agenda. The "civilization
paradigm" provides a philosophical rationalization for Western powers to
engage more openly in their ongoing business of collective domination.

Under this regional regime there is no danger of armageddon, nor is there
any hope of a final peace. Ongoing managed conflict is to be the order of
things, providing dynamic stability, with the price in suffering to be paid
by the people of the non-Western "civilizations".

Under this scheme the postwar myth of universal democratization is being
explicitly abandoned. Instead each region is expected to exhibit its own
"cultural norms", which "unlike the West" do not necessarily include a
concern for human rights or democracy. The Western-serving, oppressive Third
World regimes which have long been the embarrassment of the "free world",
are now to be accepted as "normal" for "those parts of the world".

Huntington's civilizational paradigm thus provides an ideal philosophical
basis for a stable Western-imperial global system. It gives Western nations
a plausible justification for acting collectively in their self interest on
the world stage, namely that they are simply playing their natural role as
one of the contending civilizations. It gives Western forces a "right" to
intervene, as "disinterested parties" adjudicating "fault-line" conflicts or
"disciplining" core states. It is disastrous in terms of human rights and
democracy, but it is an effective strategy for maintaining Western hegemony
under globalization into the new millennium.

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[references still incomplete]

(1) H.G. Wells, The Outline of History, 1920, Garden City Publishing, Garden
City, New York, p. 1005
(2) George Seldes, Facts and Fascism, p. 122; Charles Higham, Trading with
the Enemy, p. 167
(3) William Manchester, The Arms of Krupp
(4) newspaper report, Independence Mo.?
(5) (to be researched)
(6) William Blum, Killing Hope, Common Courage Press, Monroe Maine, 1995,
pp. 64-72
(7) "The China Threat, A Debate", Foreign Affairs, March/April 1997
(8) "The Future of Warfare", The Economist, March 8, 1997
(9) Samuel P. Huntington, "The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of
World Order", Simon and Schuster, 1997
(10) Martin Walker, "China preys on American minds -- The US this week",
Guardian Weekly, April 6, 1997
(11) "US declares war on terrorism", Guardian Weekly, August 30, 1998, p. 1


[End Chapter 1]


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